This morning, I economized! The three things I did in the first three hours of my day saved us about $17.00. I know that doesn't sound like much, but the cumulative effect of saving that much a few times a month can grow into quite a sum!
A little background on how and why I economize.......
Over the years, my husband has been called many things. He's been referred to as fiscally conservative, financially conscientious, frugal, and even... cheap. I must admit, that I may have added to the stigma in the first few years of our marriage as I used to tease him about it. But as time has gone on, I have adopted and even promote a lot of his thinking about money.
Since the beginning of our marriage we have lived on some sort of a budget. When we were first starting out we did have to watch every penny. A few years into our marriage and just before the birth our our second child, I was laid off from my job. After a few months, we decided that, for us, the best decision was for me not to go back to work. Because I contributed about 40% of our income, it took a lot of adjusting. That meant spending habits had to be dramatically altered. Every penny going out was divided into a NEED or WANT category. If it was a WANT, it usually had to wait.
As the years went by and income pressures eased, we didn't feel the day to day stress of where every penny went. With a lot of thought and consideration, we could give in to some of the wants. But, we knew that looming somewhere off in the future was college for three kids, weddings for three daughters, and retirement for us. So......the budgeting continued. In fact, it still continues today, and has become a lifestyle.
It hasn't always been easy. We always had necessities covered, but there were and are a lot of luxuries we still do without. We didn't always communicate effectively about our expectations about finances. But, time has ironed out most of the kinks and we are know pretty comfortable and at peace with the financial life we have chosen to live.
The things I used to tease my husband about have become an important part of preparing for our future. To him, I apologize if I helped to bolster his reputation for being.....frugal. In truth, his reputation should be financially responsible.
So let me share with you how I economized this morning. I rode my bike to the coffee shop I frequent. Instead of burning gasoline, I burned my own bio-mass and saved about $3.00. I brought my refill mug to drink my coffee in and saved $1.00. I made a purchase of some new workout clothes(partly want, but mostly need) using a coupon that I almost threw away and saved $13.00.
These were all easy and painless ways to save money that any one can adopt. Your choice of beverage or mode of alternate transportation may be different, but I dare you to ask yourself,"How can I economize today?"